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Health & Pregnancy

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Vitamin D Deficiency Boosts C-Section Risk

Low Levels of Vitamin D in Pregnant Women May Increase Chances of C-Sections

Vitamin D and C-section

Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to muscle weakness and poor muscle performance.

Merewood tells WebMD that this might explain why women with insufficient vitamin D stores would be more likely to require C-sections.

"That is really just a theory at this point," she says. "We definitely haven't identified a causal pathway."

She says that pregnant women should talk to their health care provider before taking vitamin D supplements.

"We know that some women are more at risk for vitamin D deficiency than others, including women with dark skin, those living in northern climates, and women who are veiled," she says.

Weiner says the study's small size and the fact that the researchers did not control for important fetus-related causes for C-sections limit the ability to draw conclusions from the research.

He points out that vitamin D levels tend to rise and fall with the seasons because exposure to sunlight is the most efficient way to boost levels of the vitamin.

"If this were a strong association you would expect to see cesarean section rates go down in the summer and up in the winter, but they are not particularly seasonal," he says.

He adds, however, that a larger study examining a possible link between vitamin D levels and C-section rates may be justified.

"If vitamin D could improve pregnancy outcomes it is in society's best interest to find this out," he says.

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